U to hold forum on armed conflict, terrorism

By David Servatius, Staff Writer

The U’s 12th Annual Siciliano Forum will feature a member of the 9/11 Commission, an award-winning foreign affairs journalist and a U professor who is running to be Lebanon’s next president.

The College of Social and Behavioral Science announced in early August that Lee Hamilton, Margaret Warner and Chibli Mallat will headline the two-day event, which will be held in November.

Steven Ott, dean of the college, said the forum will focus on the changing nature of armed conflict in the world and how far a democratic society is willing to go to protect itself against the threat of terrorism.

“The Siciliano Forum is on the status of American society, and what we have been doing is trying to tackle the intractable questions facing us,” Ott said. “For example, and this is not any sort of political statement, all of the arguing that we are seeing about what laws should apply to our detainees at Guantanamo.”

The forum, also produced by the Institute of Public and International Affairs, will include a keynote address and dinner on the evening of Nov. 12, followed by an afternoon of lectures and panel discussions Nov. 13.

Ott said forum organizers selected speakers based not only on their unique perspectives and their cutting edge understanding of the issues to be discussed, but also on their ability to communicate effectively with the average person who might or might not have the same level of knowledge.

Hamilton is a former congressman from Indiana who served as chair of the House Committee on International Relations and vice chair of the 9/11 Commission. He will deliver the opening night keynote address in the Rice-Eccles Stadium press room.

“Lee Hamilton, despite his real sophistication and knowledge, is very understandable to a layperson,” Ott said.

Warner has been a political and international correspondent for Newsweek and is a senior analyst with “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer” on PBS. She will moderate a series of lectures in the OSH Waldemer P. Reed auditorium on the second day of the forum.

Mallat is a professor of law and Middle Eastern politics at the U who is also running for president in the upcoming Lebanese elections. He will focus his remarks on the complexities of warfare, a state’s right to self-defense and conflict prevention.

“I hope the forum audience, and the world at large, will see their intellectual horizons widened on two issues,” Mallat said. “Those are, one, a better understanding of the Middle East as the key crisis point in the 21st century and, two, the effective power of non-violence.”

The other speakers for the lecture series are Bruce Hoffman, a senior scholar with the U’s Institute of Public and International Affairs and a professor of international affairs at Georgetown University, and Amos Guiora, who teaches criminal law, international law and national and international security for the S. J. Quinney College of Law.

Guiora said that he views his participation in the forum as an opportunity to engage the public in an important dialogue.

“I want people to think about whether or not we need to re-articulate the limits of self defense in the context of the post-9/11 world,” he said. “Another question I would like people to ask themselves is this: If we do need to re-articulate self-defense, does that mean we also need to re-articulate international law?”

Additional panel sessions will follow Warner’s presentation. Scheduled participants include U law professor Wayne McCormack, political science professor Steven Lobell, and David Schwendiman, chief war crimes prosecutor in Bosnia and Serbia.

The Siciliano Forum is named in honor of Rocco D. Siciliano, a Salt Lake City native who graduated from the U in 1944. The first forum took place at the U in 1997.

Past topics have included the effects of globalization on workers around the world, the future of the voting rights act, world population shifts, obesity and immigration.

Past speakers have included former Surgeon General David Satcher, C-SPAN founder John D. Evans and presidential adviser Karl Rove.

There is no cost to attend the Nov. 13 lectures and panel discussions. For more information, contact Aleta Tew at 801-587-3556 or via e-mail at [email protected]

Lee Hamilton

Margaret Warner

Chibli Mallat